Update: Hurricane Irma response
All flights to Antigua are currently cancelled, but our disaster response team hopes to be able to fly there tomorrow (Sunday September 10). While in transit, we're working with local veterinarians and animal welfare groups, to help take action on the ground in several locations
Scott Cantin, from our disaster response team, said: "I'm very worried for the animals and their owners, with Hurricane Jose now threatening the Leeward Islands that only days ago were terribly impacted by Hurricane Irma.
"We've been unable to reach them (the animals) to help, as all flights to Antigua were cancelled. We're doing everything we can to get there and have found a way in on Sunday. Fingers crossed the flights can get through.
"In the meantime we have been in touch with veterinarians and animal welfare groups across the Caribbean. They've told us harrowing stories of communities utterly wiped out by hurricane Irma. While in transit, we are working with them to take action on the ground in several locations such as Antigua, Barbuda, St Maarten and Haiti.
"The animals and people who depend on them need our help badly. We're doing everything in our power to get there as soon as possible.
"As soon as we arrive, I'll have an update for you."
Working with governments and vets
When our experts arrive, they'll be:
- working with local governments and veterinarians. They are ready to provide immediate assistance to injured animals with veterinary care, shelter and feed;
- providing emergency vet kits, including treatments for diarrhoea, pneumonia and other diseases, transmitted easily after disasters;
- assessing the longer-term needs of animals in partnership with the governments of affected states.
The coming days are critical for the people who rely on their animals to make ends meet. If their animals die, their hopes of rebuilding their lives will perish too. As the recovery process begins, saving animals will help provide stability for their future.
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